Hi there. My name is David. In other places I’m known as Hesediah, like on Youtube or Myspace. I’m glad that James Wood blessed me with an opportunity to do anything to help a good cause such as his.
After almost a year of struggling with the issue, I made the final step of walking away from christianity, leaving Jesus if you will, in Passover of 2003. Such a decision cannot be taken lightly at all. But here I am, over 8 and a half years later, and in the most important ways I’ve not looked back. I’ve always realised that to leave Jesus does not ever mean you have to leave the God of Israel, unlike some who took a similar exit as I did but got lost in the subjectivism of deism, agnosticism, and atheism. But I never had the blessing of a Jewish community around me or some rabbi to hold my hand as I left my former religion. I’m not as great as Abraham, but I did end up walking alone on my path. No one around me chose the same path.I only heard of others on the internet.
But I’ve always loved reading (just like my dad). So I had a chance to look at Isaac Troki’s “Faith Strengthened”, the 19th century Jewish magazine, The Occident, which had one of the best anti-missionary series ever called the Dias letters, another old book called “A guide for rational inquiries into the biblical writings being an examination of the doctrinal difference between Judaism and primitive Christianity based upon a critical exposition of the book of Matthew,” by Rev. Isidor Kalisch, Rabbi and Preacher of the Congregation Bene Yeshurun, Milwaulkie, Wisconsin. I got to listen to Rabbi Tovia Singer and read and listen to the media of Jews for Judaism.Other books like “Living up to the Truth” by Dovid Gottlieb, the commentary by Rashi, “The Hollow Inheritance” by Michoell Drazin amongst many others. I experience these resources, some before and most after my leaving christianity.
But in the end, it wasn’t by listening to any of that which caused me to leave christianity. The thing that caused me to leave christianity in such a way as should never cause me to return was to read through all 300+ messianic prophecies put forward by different websites. I read through all of them using the Hebrew and Greek and English, reading each passage in context, asking the simple question “if I were a person living at the time of Jesus, would a plain and natural reading of them in context lead me to accept him as Messiah, or worse, as God (perish the thought)?” I remember that Passover going through the list, seeing all the crosses I put next to prophecies that didn’t really cut it, that didn’t lead forward to Jesus but needed to have Jesus read into them. So many weren’t even prophecies. On that Passover, I finished reading those passages, and I put the final cross on that list. I remember the way I felt. My belief in Jesus just switched off. The supposed foundation of the New Testament, the Hebrew Scriptures, instead of leading me to Jesus, told me to shun that very person. If the foundations are removed ….
Since that time, a few years after, my christian wife asked me to read the New Testament to see if that would change anything. I did do that, noting all of its proof texts and again compared them to the Hebrew and the version of the Septuagint (ancient Greek translation of the Hebrew Bible, translators unknown) that I had. It turned me off even more. I even got to note down and see how the resurrection accounts differed imcompatibly with one another. And even after that time, after a confrontation with some Jehovah’s Witnesses, I went through Paul, again looking at each of his usages of scripture, again comparing it to the Hebrew and the version of the Septuagint I had. Because of that and what I’ve seen him do to scriptural passages, like the grammatical RAPE of Deuteronomy 30, I gain a deeper dislike for him.
Despite my path, I know a few things to be certain and true:
1) God is the truth and He is so good!
2) Christianity is false.
3) God accepts all, Jew or Gentile, who come to Him with the right attitude to learn.
I hope I can be as much a blessing to James Wood and Leaving Jesus as he has been to me for the time that we have known each other.
To any of you reading this, the door is open for you to learn about God and his truth without Jesus. If you must embrace Christianity, then I beg you to study and leave any notion of the divinity of Jesus or a trinity. Trust in the God revealed himself to Moses and the Jews, and he had no form and he doesn’t change.
God bless you all.
David Dryden (Hesediah)